Officers - Be A Mentor
I remember looking at the “old guys” at the
office when I first became a cop. They would
come to work with the uniform wrinkled, an old
revolver strapped to their hip that looked like
it hadn’t been cleaned in a year, no vest with
a daily agenda of how little can I do and where
am I going to eat lunch. We called those guys
“ROD”, or retired on duty. I told myself I
would never become one of them.
But after years and years of seeing what we
see, children neglected and abused, drug
dealers and habitual drunk drivers getting off
on light sentences over and over, the bull crap
of political red tape and favoritism within the
department, I started to realize how those
“ROD” guys became the way they were.
But then, something inside of me told me that
staying on top of my game would have to be a
choice, even a fight not to morph into an
unproductive officer. So on those days when I
wanted to throw in the towel, I find myself
making little choices to keep my mind and body
in the best shape to be an effective cop.
What motivates me now is that I don’t want the
young, gung ho officers looking at me and
thinking the same thing I thought so many years
ago about the old guys.
An older, more experienced cop that stays on
top of his game has the ability to influence
and set an example to the young guys. A 40
something cop with 20 years on the job that
comes to work in good physical shape, with a
crisp uniform, eager to help people and eager
to do his job will set an example to those
I’m not saying as a veteran cop you don’t get
sick and tired of the BS. What I am saying is
use your maturity as a cop and hide those
feelings from the younger guys. Then you and
your best bud that has just as much experience
can get away alone and bitch about things in
Remember always that someone’s perception is
their reality. As a veteran officer, is it not
only your duty to serve and protect, but it is
also your duty to be an example to the next
generation of officers. And who knows, 10 years
from now, when those rookies have some
experience, they will sit around and tell war
stories about you, and remember you as “Officer
so and so, that old guy on our shift that
really knew how to be a great cop and taught us
everything we know”.
The example you set is how you will be
remembered. Young officers look to you just
like a child looks up to their parents, even if
they don’t say it to your face. You control
your legacy as an officer.
As for me, I have no intention of being
remembered as “Retired on Duty”. So if you’ll
excuse me, I need to go find me a criminal to
put in jail today.
Stay safe and go home at the end of your shift.
Andrew G. Hawkes
About the Author
Sergeant Andrew G. Hawkes has over 17 years of law enforcement experience. He has a BA in Criminal Justice and is currently completing his master’s degree
in Public Administration. Additionally,
he is a graduate of the Law Enforcement Management Institute of Texas; has a Master Police Peace Officer Certificate from
the State of Texas; and, has a Police Instructor’s Licenses from the State of Texas.
Currently, Sergeant Andrew G. Hawkes is a member of the Collin County Sheriff’s Office (Texas) where he is a
senior sergeant in the patrol operations. Sergeant Andrew G. Hawkes is the author
of Secrets of Successful
Highway Interdiction. According to
Sergeant Andrew G. Hawkes, “After 17 years of highway drug interdiction, 500 felony arrests, 5,100 pounds in drug seizures,
and over $20 million (drugs, cash and vehicles), I have learned a lot of drug-busting techniques that I want to share with
you.” His book, Secrets of Successful Highway Interdiction, contains eleven chapters on Highway Drug Interdiction.